Today Is The Summer Solstice: 3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Longest Days Of The Year

WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: People take part in the summer solstice dawn celebrations after druids, pagans and revellers gathered for the Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21, 2014 in Wiltshire, England. A sunny forecast brought thousands of revellers to the 5,000 year old stone circle in Wiltshire to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice dawn. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Getty Images)

Thursday, June 21st is considered to be the longest day of the year for those of us who live on the North side of the equator.  It is what super smart scientists call, the Summer Solstice.

If you want to get technical, the solstice actually happens when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer (remember that from elementary school).  This year, the precise moment that will happen is at 6:07am ET on June 21st. You’ll probably sleep right through it.

So, what are those burning questions you really need to know the answers to?

How many hours of daylight will I get?

That really depends on where you live.  If you live in the southern states you will get about 14 hours of daylight.  You get more the further north you go. If you happen to live near the arctic circle (someone there could be reading this, you never know), be ready for the start of 24 hours of sunlight.

Here’s a cool video that was taken by a resident of Alberta, Canada showing the dramatic arc of the sun from December to June.

What does Stonehenge have to do with the solstice?

The stone circle that makes up Stonehenge was built about 4500 years ago.  We don’t know who built it, or why. But maybe it’s a coincidence that it perfectly lines up with the sunrise on the summer solstice and the sunset at winter solstice.  Back in the day, you could have attended more than a few pagan rituals as druids worshiped the sun at Stonehenge, if you’re into that sort of thing.  They still throw quite the party during the summer and winter solstice.

AMESBURY, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: People dance and listen to drums being played outside the stones as druids, pagans and revellers gather at Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury on December 22, 2015 in Wiltshire, England. Despite a forecast for rain, a large crowd gathered at the famous historic stone circle, a UNESCO listed ancient monument, to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The event is claimed to be more important in the pagan calendar than the summer solstice, because it marks the ‘re-birth’ of the Sun for the New Year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)I clicked on this cause I thought I would see a cool picture of the sun…

We know why you really clicked on this article.  Here you go. Make sure you get outside and enjoy the longest day of 2018!

 

IN SPACE – DECEMBER 31: In this handout from NASA, a solar eruption rises above the surface of the sun December 31, 2012 in space. According to NASA the relatively minor eruption extended 160,000 miles out from the Sun and was about 20 times the diameter of Earth. (Photo by NASA/SDO via Getty Images)
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